OnePlus Buds – a $79 AirPods competitor

Yesterday saw the announcement of the OnePlus Nord and OnePlus Buds. Both well rounded products at budget prices.

The Nord phone sees OnePlus return to its roots with a truely solid phone without cutting corners at a budget price. OnePlus Nord looks to be the best Android phone in its price range, starting at €399, £379 and ₹27999. Unforunately for US customers, OnePlus Nord is currently only focused on India, China and Europe, with shipping starting 4th August. OnePlus are expected to release more phones in the ‘Nord series’ with US availability being possibile with later products.

Alongside the Nord launch, OnePlus also debuted their equally well rounded, while low cost earbuds – OnePlus Buds.

Design is very similar to the AirPods (non-Pro) with plastic tips and long stems. Some people get on with the design of plastic based earbuds and some don’t. If the AirPods do not fit your ears well, these are not the headphones for you. Microphones on the end of the long stems as well as some intellegent noise-reduction will result in clear calls. IPX4 water and sweat resistance make them suitable for fitness and will save you from accidental splashes.

With support for SBC and AAC codecs, the OnePlus Buds sound quality is average and about on par with the regular AirPods. Powerful Bass Boost will give the buds some extra punch in the low end.

OnePlus Buds offer an impressive 7 hours of playback on a single charge with 30 hours in the non-wireless charging matte case. 10 minutes of charging the case will give you an additional 10 hours.

OnePlus Buds support Android Fast Pair, which will connect them to your Google Account, show you the battery level for the buds and case, as well as play a sound when lost.

When connected to a OnePlus phone, the double tap and long presses are customizable for music control, voice assistant, switching devices and answering calls. The buds will auto-pause when removed from the ear. Low lantency with OnePlus phones ensures a smooth gaming experience.

Wireless connection can be choppy with equally priced truly wireless earbuds, but the OnePlus Buds seem stable so far. Time will tell whether the reliability, connection and long term battery life stay solid after multiple cycles.

In summery, with no ANC, no wireless charging case, plastic eartips and average sound quality, the OnePlus Buds are very similar in design and function to the AirPods (non-Pro) at exactly half the price. If you’re after a pair of inexpensive truly wireless earbuds and the design fits your ears, these are likely the best choice for you, especially for current OnePlus users. Available in White, Gray and Nord Blue (outside of the US), for a very respectable $79.

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